They are often cast as the dinosaurs in the great disruption playing out across the motor industry. But established carmakers are trying to turn the tables on the US technology companies shaking up the automobile world by tapping talent in their Silicon Valley backyard.
“All car companies have a very strong resistance inside for what we’re facing,” says the chief executive of one car supplier, referring to the pace of change in the industry. “When you go and talk to the decision makers, you’re talking to people locked into the old ways of doing things.”
But the carmakers strongly reject this statement. For them, one of the real draws is being close to a new wave of unlikely suppliers, such as Nest, the internet-connected home devices company owned by Google.